Google 'right to be forgotten' tour kicks off in Madrid

Tuesday 9 September 2014 | 14:38 CET | News
Google has kicked off a European 'right to be forgotten' tour in Madrid, the first seven public sessions designed to help the company define its response to the EU Court of Justice's recent judgment giving individuals the right to request the removal of information about them from search results. The meeting held in the Spanish capital’s Casa de America saw Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and a panel of privacy and freedom of information experts including Wikimedia founder Jimmy Wales and Le Monde editorial director Sylvie Kauffmann answer questions from Spanish journalists and data protection specialists.

Google said it had received more than 100,000 requests for takedowns since the May judgment but that it had been tough with some requests in order to balance privacy concerns with the public's right to know. In its replies to a recent EU questionnaire, Google revealed it had granted over half the requests it had received so far. European regulators are set to meet on 16 and 17 September to settle on guidelines for how they expect Google and other search engines to apply the right to be forgotten rule. Currently, Google only enforces the ruling on its specific European websites, such as Google.co.uk or Google.es, and not on Google.com.

After the Madrid meeting, Google’s road show of public hearings will move on to Rome on 10 September, Paris on 25 September, Warsaw on 30 September, Berlin on 14 October, London on 16 October and Brussels on 04 November.

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